A PENSIONER from Park North is speaking out against scammers after receiving nine hours of nuisance calls.

Valerie Elliott was inundated with calls from unknown numbers last Friday.

One caller tried to get her debit card details by pretending to be from the service that screens her phone calls.

The 83-year-old is concerned that people her age could be easily deceived by callers masquerading as personnel from the Telephone Preference Service or phone companies and attempting to get access to their bank accounts.

Valerie said: “It’s awful, I received phone calls from numbers which came up as ‘Unavailable’ on my land-line all day, from 8.30 in the morning to 5.30pm.

“BT screens my calls so if I don’t recognise the number or it comes up as unavailable, I don’t answer, but they kept ringing every half hour, I was ever so cross.

“Then a number came up and I answered – somehow they knew my name and address but I’m not even in the phone book.

“They said they were calling from the Telephone Preference Service and wanted to speak to me because they were trying to stop nuisance calls, I said ‘You are a nuisance call!’

“Then they asked if I paid my bill by direct debit and wanted my card’s expiration date so I put the phone down, I was infuriated.

“My son-in-law went online and contacted the service and they said they’d never call and ask for those details, then he filled in a report for Action Fraud.”

Action Fraud received more than 7,000 reports of fraud where the first contact was made over the phone each month from January to April 2017.

A spokesperson for Action Fraud said: “Some fraudsters will call your landline or mobile, pretending to be from your bank, building society, a government agency or someone you do business with.

“This is known as vishing - voice plus fishing.

“The aim is always to trick you into thinking you’re giving up personal information or making payments with someone you can trust.

“The fraudsters will use your details to steal your identity or simply take the money you’ve paid and break all contact.

“If a phone call or voicemail, email or text message asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers you a deal, be cautious.

“Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040.”

Valerie wants to warn others about these vishing calls.

She added: “People can be easily drawn into these things when they’re on the phone, especially older people, and I want to stop that from happening.

“If you’re warned about this then at least you’ll be aware when someone calls pretending to be from the Telephone Preference Service and you’ll know that it’s a scam.”

Visit actionfraud.police.uk for more information on fraud prevention, advice on how to spot a fraudster, and to report any incidents of fraud that you’ve experienced.